Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour
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civil service codes.09.08.qxd 05/09/2008 09:23 Page 4 Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour CIVIL SERVICE CODE OF STANDARDS AND BEHAVIOUR As drawn up and promulgated by the Minister for Finance on 9 September 2004 pursuant to Section 10(3) of the Standards in Public Office Act 2001 and published by the Standards in 1 Public Office Commission (revised edition) in September 2008 pursuant to Section 10(11) of the Standards in Public Office Act 2001.
civil service codes.09.08.qxd 05/09/2008 09:23 Page 5 MISSION OF THE CIVIL SERVICE The mission of the Civil Service is the achievement of an excellent service for Government and the other institutions of State as well as for the 2 public as citizens and users of public services, based on principles of integrity, impartiality, effectiveness, equity and accountability. Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour
civil service codes.09.08.qxd 05/09/2008 09:23 Page 6 Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour CONTENTS INTRODUCTION PART 1 - The Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour – An Overview 1. The Code in context 2. The requirements of the Code 3. Application of the Code PART 2 - Standards Required of Civil Servants STANDARDS UNDERPINNING SERVICE DELIVERY 4. Impartiality 5. Civil servants and politics 6. Respect for the law 7. Disclosure of information 8. Dealings with the public 9. Criminal convictions 3 BEHAVIOUR AT WORK 10. Attendance and performance 11. Regard for state resources 12. Relations with colleagues STANDARDS OF INTEGRITY 13. Improper influence 14. Conflicts of interest 15. Disclosure of conflicts of interest 16. Gifts 17. Hospitality 18. Payment for work on behalf of outside bodies 19. Contracts with, purchases from or sales to Government Departments/Offices 20. Acceptance of outside appointments and of consultancy engagement following resignation or retirement 21. Outside Appointments Board APPENDIX Summary of the main features of the Code
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civil service codes.09.08.qxd 05/09/2008 09:23 Page 8 Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour Introduction The tradition of the Civil Service has been one a high priority to the development of a Code of of loyal and impartial service for the benefit of Standards and Behaviour for the Civil Service the country. when it commenced its deliberations. The development of a new Code recognises explicitly that, within the major modernisation To work in the public service is to work for the programme which is currently underway in the common good. The traditional values of the Irish Civil Service, there is a need to restate and public service - honesty, impartiality and promote core public service values so as to integrity - are about serving this common marry the best of the old with the new. New 5 good. Standards of probity are high and must systems for providing quality customer service, be maintained. These values must be the for devolving responsibility to basis for the official actions of civil servants. Departments/Offices and managers, for managing performance and for using This Code of Standards and Behaviour for the information technology are all posing Irish Civil Service is being introduced in challenges to existing policies and practices. accordance with section 10(3) of the Standards in Public Office Act 2001.1 It applies to civil Changes to the regulatory environment and servants of the Government as well as civil new Human Resource Management systems servants of the State and is an important pillar will also have a major impact on the way the of the Delivering Better Government Civil Service operates. To get the best from the programme. The Human Resources new ways of doing business, they have to be Management Working Group, established under grounded in a public service ethos which sets the Strategic Management Initiative, accorded 1 ”(3) The Minister shall from time to time draw up codes of conduct for the guidance of persons who hold or occupy directorships or positions of employment in public bodies but before doing so shall consult with the Commission and such persons representative of those persons as he or she considers appropriate.”
civil service codes.09.08.qxd 05/09/2008 09:23 Page 9 out clearly the standards expected and ways in which people will achieve them. To underpin the change process, an integrated approach to the values, standards and behaviour of civil servants is now being adopted through this Civil Service Code. The 6 Code sets out a clear framework within which civil servants must work. It sets out in a single document the principles which should govern the behaviour of civil servants and the values which the Civil Service espouses. It builds on the principles set out in “The Ombudsman’s Guide to Standards of Best Practice for Public Servants”. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list of guidelines for all possible eventualities. Individual Departments and Offices will wish to provide additional guidance as appropriate for their own staff relevant to their own particular circumstances. Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour
civil service codes.09.08.qxd 05/09/2008 09:23 Page 10 Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour Part 1 The Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour An Overview 1. The Code in context • always acting within the law and Civil servants can be justly proud of the high • performing their duties with efficiency, standards of conduct which have characterised diligence and courtesy. their service to the public over many years and enabled them to carry out the mission of the (b) Observe appropriate behaviour at work by: Civil Service. The Civil Service Code of • dealing with the public sympathetically, Standards and Behaviour is an important fairly and promptly and element of the overall framework within which • treating their colleagues with respect. 7 all civil servants are expected to work. It sets out the standards required of civil servants in (c) Maintain the highest standards of probity the discharge of their duties. These standards by: of behaviour and values will support a high • conducting themselves with honesty, quality public service, based on high levels of impartiality and integrity; personal performance and responsibility. • never seeking to use improper influence, in particular, never seeking to use political influence to affect decisions 2. The requirements of the Code concerning their official positions; In the performance of their duties civil servants must: • abiding by guidelines in respect of offers of gifts or hospitality and (a) Maintain high standards in service delivery • avoiding conflicts of interest. by: • conscientiously, honestly and impartially serving the Government of the day, the other institutions of State and the public;
civil service codes.09.08.qxd 05/09/2008 09:23 Page 11 3. Application of the Code unestablished positions and whose 3.1 The provisions of the Code apply to all tenure is coterminous with that of the staff (i.e. established and unestablished relevant Minister/Attorney General (e.g. civil servants) whether full-time or personal assistants, special advisors, employed on an atypical basis (e.g. personal secretaries in offices of temporary or part-time). They also apply Ministers and civilian drivers of to staff on forms of special leave including Ministers of State). career break except where they deal with 8 circumstances which can only arise where 3.2 This Code forms part of the terms of the staff member is at work. The employment of all civil servants who are requirements in relation to official secrecy expected to apply it at all times. A copy will apply to former staff, while must be given to every staff member on requirements in relation to post- entry to the Civil Service and they will be retirement/resignation employment will required to certify in writing that they not apply to civil servants who retired prior have received and read it. The Code will to promulgation of this Code. Apart from be circulated to all existing staff who will the provisions in relation to civil servants be required to sign a similar declaration. and politics the Code also applies to the An opportunity should be given to staff to posts of obtain clarification on any aspect of the • Government Press Secretary, Code. Staff induction courses will include • Deputy Government Press Secretary, instruction on the provisions of the Code. Breaches of the Code will constitute a • Assistant Government Press Secretary breach of the terms of employment of a and civil servant and may result in disciplinary • all Ministerial and Attorney General action. Private Office staff holding temporary Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour
civil service codes.09.08.qxd 05/09/2008 09:23 Page 12 Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour Part 2 Standards Required of Civil Servants The detailed standards required of civil future Minister or Government servants in the performance of their official confidence in their integrity and duties are set out in this part of the Code. The Code also details specific requirements placed (c) should not display partiality whether on certain civil servants following their as a result of personal or family ties or retirement or resignation. otherwise. Standards Underpinning 9 5. Civil servants and politics Service Delivery 5.1 Restrictions have traditionally been The standards which underpin the general imposed on civil servants engaging in ethos of the Civil Service are set out below: political activity to ensure public confidence in the political impartiality of 4. Impartiality the Civil Service. This section restates the Civil servants in the performance of their existing restrictions. official duties: 5.2 (a) Civil servants are not permitted to seek (a) must conscientiously serve the duly a nomination or to stand for election elected Government of the day, the to either House of the Oireachtas or to other institutions of State and the the European Parliament. This public; restriction applies to all categories of staff. Civil servants above clerical level (b) must advise and implement policy cannot stand for local election. impartially and, in particular, be conscious of the need to maintain the (b) Civil servants in the craft and state independence necessary to give any industrial related grades are free to
civil service codes.09.08.qxd 05/09/2008 09:23 Page 13 engage in politics2 and may stand for except if required to do so as part of their local election. The general restriction official duties. This is not intended to in relation to election to either House change existing practice. Civil servants in of the Oireachtas or the European category (c) may engage in public debate Parliament applies. on politics only with the prior permission of their Department/Office. These (c) Members of the clerical grades in the provisions do not preclude publication by Civil Service and non-industrial civil civil servants of material on public affairs servants in grades with salary maxima in accordance with statute or where such equal to or below the Clerical Officer publication was authorised by the maximum may apply to their Department/Office. Department/Office for permission to engage in politics on the same basis as 5.4 The provisions of Paragraphs 5.1 and 5.2 the staff referred to at (b). Officers do not apply to the posts of Government employed on particular types of work Press Secretary, Deputy Government Press 10 may, at the discretion of departmental Secretary, Assistant Government Press management, have their applications Secretary, and all Ministerial and Attorney refused. In cases where permission General Private Office staff holding would otherwise be refused, temporary unestablished positions and Departments/Offices should examine whose tenure is coterminous with that of the possibility of moving an officer to a the relevant Minister/Attorney General less sensitive area. (e.g. personal assistants, special advisors, personal secretaries in offices of Ministers (d) All civil servants above clerical level and civilian drivers of Ministers of State). are totally debarred from engaging in any form of political activity. 6. Respect for the law 6.1 The work of the Civil Service is carried out 5.3 Civil servants in category (d) may not within a framework of law. It is the duty engage in public debate (e.g. letter writing of civil servants to respect these legal to newspapers, contributions to television constraints, in particular: or radio programmes, etc.) on politics, 2 Previously, Department of Finance circulars on politics have used terms such as “political matters”, “matters of current political interest”, “political action or position”, “political issues” and “political activity”. For the purposes of this document, the term “politics” is used to cover all of these terms. Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour
civil service codes.09.08.qxd 05/09/2008 09:23 Page 14 Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour • never to act in a manner which they the FOI procedures applying in their know, or suspect, is illegal, improper, Departments/Offices. or unethical or for which they have no legal authority and 7.2 Particular care should be taken to • to exercise any discretion conferred by safeguard information concerning the law in a bona fide manner in private affairs of members of the public or accordance with the intentions of the concerning the commercial affairs of statute. companies or organisations which has been submitted in connection with official 6.2 Civil servants who have doubts about the business on condition, or on the legality of a particular action which they reasonable assumption, that it would are required to take in the course of their remain confidential. The FOI Acts official duties should refer the matter to recognise the importance of protecting their superiors whose responsibility it is to such information in the normal course issue a direction on the matter, following from third party access. Where legal advice where necessary. exceptionally sensitive information of a 11 personal, commercially sensitive or confidential nature is under consideration 7. Disclosure of information for release in the public interest, the FOI 7.1 All civil servants should ensure that they Acts impose a number of safeguards to deal with queries from members of the ensure the rights of the person(s) public in an open and helpful way. Under concerned are fully respected. the Freedom of Information Acts 1997 and 2003 (FOI Acts), members of the public 7.3 It remains a requirement under the Official enjoy a legal right of access to information Secrets Act 1963 that all civil servants, held by Government Departments/Offices including those who are retired or on a and other public bodies, subject to certain career break, avoid improper disclosure of exemptions defined in the FOI Acts. information gained in the course of their Arising from the FOI Acts, certain officers official work. For example, disclosure of are given explicit responsibility for the information would be likely to be improper provision of information to members of where a person has not been given the public on foot of requests under the responsibility to provide information to the FOI Acts. Civil servants should take public under the FOI Acts, or is not particular care to inform themselves about otherwise authorised to do so.
civil service codes.09.08.qxd 05/09/2008 09:23 Page 15 8. Dealings with the public the Court places the convicted person on 8.1 Civil servants should: probation rather than imprison him or her) • ensure that members of the public must report that fact to his or her have their affairs dealt with Personnel Officer. In certain sympathetically, efficiently and circumstances, this may have implications promptly; for his or her official position. • always give their names to any Departments/Offices should exercise member of the public with whom they discretion in dealing with cases in the light are dealing, except where given a of all of the merits of each case. In special exemption, for example, on accordance with the Data Protection Acts security grounds and 1988 and 2003, such information will be treated in strict confidence by • ensure that members of the public are Departments/Offices and no record of it dealt with in a respectful manner. will be kept unless the information is relevant to the official duties being carried 8.2 Civil servants should: 12 • ensure that their standard of dress is out by the officer. appropriate to their work environment; • show due consideration and respect for Behaviour at Work the public, their colleagues and the office they hold. 10. Attendance and performance Civil servants are required: • to attend at work as required and not 9. Criminal convictions to absent themselves from duty A civil servant who is convicted of a without proper authorisation; criminal offence or given the benefit of • to comply with the terms of the sick the Probation Act when charged with a leave regulations; criminal offence (whether the Probation • at all times, to act in a manner Act is (i) applied where summary consistent with the proper proceedings for an offence are brought, performance of the functions of their the case is proven and the Court decides Civil Service position and with the not to proceed to conviction or (ii) applied maintenance of public confidence in on conviction on indictment of an offence such performance, including refraining which is punishable by imprisonment and Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour
civil service codes.09.08.qxd 05/09/2008 09:23 Page 16 Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour from conduct which might impair themselves or by staff reporting to performance;3 them. • to ensure non-discriminatory language is used in all communications, both 12. Relations with colleagues internal and external, including display Civil servants should show due respect for material and documents in electronic their colleagues at work, including their form and values and beliefs. Civil servants should • not to engage in any outside business ensure that their behaviour towards other or occupation during their normal colleagues is appropriate in the hours of duty (see paragraphs 14 and workplace. Civil servants have a legal 18 below concerning business activities duty not to discriminate against outside of normal working hours). colleagues on the basis of their gender, race, sexual orientation, membership of the traveller community, disability, age, 11. Regard for state resources 11.1 Civil servants should endeavour to ensure marital status, family status and religious 13 belief. Civil servants should support a the proper, effective, and efficient use of positive working environment by public money. observing and supporting the Civil Service policy on harassment, sexual harassment 11.2 Civil servants are required to: and bullying. • take proper and reasonable care of public funds and departmental property and not to use them, or permit their use, for unauthorised Standards of Integrity 4 purposes; 13. Improper influence • incur no liability on the part of their Civil servants are not allowed to: employer without proper authorisation • use their official positions to benefit and themselves or others with whom they • ensure that expenses, such as travel have personal, family, business or and subsistence payments, are not other ties; unnecessarily incurred either by 3 The Civil Service Employee Assistance Service is available to help staff manage personal difficulties which, if left, might adversely affect their work performance and/or attendance and their quality of life. 4 “De minimis” use of departmental resources, i.e. a use that results in no actual cost to the State, or the cost to the State is so small as to be insignificant or negligible, is permitted.
civil service codes.09.08.qxd 05/09/2008 09:23 Page 17 • seek to influence decisions on matters whose duties are of a professional pertaining to their official positions character (e.g. doctors, engineers, except through the established architects, veterinary surgeons, solicitors, procedures (for example, negotiating etc.) must not engage in private practice or grievance procedures) or in such in their professions. Any case in which other manner as the Secretary General the propriety of undertaking a particular or Head of Office may approve. In business or occupation could reasonably particular, civil servants must not use be open to question must be referred by political influence to affect decisions the civil servant concerned to the concerning their official positions. The Secretary General or Head of Office. normal Conciliation and Arbitration and other industrial relations issues apart, 14.2 Civil servants must never seek to use civil servants are not allowed to solicit, knowledge acquired in the performance directly or indirectly, for personal of, or as a result of, their official duties to concessions in their favour. Any breach benefit themselves, or others with whom 14 of these rules may render a civil they have personal, family or other ties. servant liable to disciplinary action. A civil servant who, in the course of his or her official duties, comes into contact with any matter affecting any commercial 14. Conflicts of interest undertaking in which he or she has an 14.1 Civil servants may not at any time interest, must immediately disclose the engage in, or be connected with, any nature and extent of that interest to the outside business or activity which would Secretary General or Head of Office. in any way conflict with the interests of Another civil servant should in the normal their Departments/Offices, or be course, unless the Secretary General or inconsistent with their official positions, Head of Office considers it unnecessary, or tend to impair their ability to carry out be assigned to deal with the matter. their duties as civil servants. For this reason, civil servants intending to be 14.3 A civil servant who experiences financial engaged in or connected with any outside difficulties which may compromise, or be business or employment should inform reasonably seen by others to compromise, their Personnel/Human Resources him or her in the performance of his or Management Section of such an her duties (e.g. through bankruptcy, or intention. Whole-time civil servants insolvency, or by incurring a significant Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour
civil service codes.09.08.qxd 05/09/2008 09:23 Page 18 Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour liability to any person, financial institution noted that all civil servants are required or other body with whom he or she has to observe the provisions of this Code, official dealings) must report that fact to such as the provisions in relation to the the Secretary General or Head of Office. acceptance of gifts, which are more Any such information shall be dealt with stringent than corresponding statutory in the strictest confidence by the provisions. Department/Office and the officer concerned will be offered such assistance 15.2 The positions in the Civil Service which as is available (for example through the have been designated for the purposes of Employee Assistance Service) to resolve the Ethics Acts are contained in the Ethics his or her difficulties. in Public Office (Designated Positions in Public Bodies) Regulations 1996 (S.I. No. 14.4 A civil servant is not permitted to make 57 of 1996). [NB. the Ethics in Public representations on behalf of an outside Office (Designated Positions in Public association or organisation, either as an Bodies) Regulations 2004 (S.I. No. 698 of individual or as a member of a 2004) revoking S.I. No. 57 of 1996 were 15 delegation, in relation to matters for signed by the Minister for Finance on 3 which his or her Department/Office has November 2004 and come into operation responsibility except with the specific on 1 January 2005]. In summary, prior consent of the Head of his or her established civil servants at Principal Department/Office. Officer level and upwards are affected by the provisions of the Ethics Acts. The Ethics Acts also apply to a range of less 15. Disclosure of conflicts of senior positions (e.g. posts dealing with interest contracts or in commercially sensitive 15.1 Civil servants who occupy positions which areas), and to advisors who are appointed are "designated positions" for purposes of personally by Ministers, and who serve as the Ethics in Public Office Acts 1995 and unestablished civil servants for the length 2001 (the Ethics Acts) have certain of their Minister's tenure of office. statutory obligations in relation to Personnel Officers must notify an officer disclosure of interests. Those obligations on taking up duty in a designated are additional to any which apply position of the obligations attaching to generally to civil servants under the that position. provisions of this Code. It should be
civil service codes.09.08.qxd 05/09/2008 09:23 Page 19 15.3 Civil servants should be furnished with a These local rules should be consistent copy of the “Guidelines for Public with the general guidelines contained in Servants concerning the steps to be taken this section. For the purposes of these by them to assist compliance with the provisions, the term “gift” includes any provisions of the Ethics in Public Office benefit (other than a benefit dealt with Acts 1995 and 2001”, published by the under paragraph 18 of the Code) which is Standards in Public Office Commission. given to a civil servant free of charge or at less than its commercial price. 16. Gifts • Subject to any rules which the 16.1 Civil servants should not receive benefits Secretary General or Head of Office of any kind from a third party which may determine, an officer may accept might reasonably be seen to compromise and retain gifts of modest value (e.g. their personal judgement or integrity. diaries, pens, etc.). Any gift of more The overriding concern is that the actions significant value should be refused or, of civil servants be above suspicion and 16 not give rise to any actual or potential if such refusal would cause offence, should be handed over by the civil conflict of interest, and that their dealings servant concerned to his or her with commercial and other interests Department/Office. should bear the closest possible scrutiny. • A gift, other than a gift of modest 16.2 The receipt of gifts, as distinct from value, given to a civil servant by virtue hospitality, by civil servants from those of his or her official relationship with with whom they have official dealings the donor or his or her Department’s must be governed by the highest commercial dealings with the donor standards. The following general must be regarded as property of the guidelines provide a framework within Department/Office concerned. which decisions in this area can be made However, benefits under frequent flier or local rules formulated. Civil servants schemes may be retained by individual must abide by these instructions or the civil servants in recognition of the fact local rules derived from them. that official travel is disruptive to Departments/Offices are required to personal and family life. apply these rules on the receipt of gifts or to make local rules derived from them. Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour
civil service codes.09.08.qxd 05/09/2008 09:23 Page 20 Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour • Particular care should be taken in to, or receipt of gifts by, civil servants is a relation to gifts from donors who stand criminal offence punishable by to derive a personal or commercial imprisonment or fine or both. The Acts benefit from their relationship with the provide that money, gifts or other Department/Office concerned. consideration received by a civil servant from a person holding or seeking to • Cash, gift cheques or any vouchers that obtain a contract from a Government may be exchanged for cash may not Department/Office is deemed to have be accepted regardless of the amount. been received corruptly unless the contrary is proved. • Civil servants may not solicit gifts, directly or indirectly. 17. Hospitality 17.1 It is impossible to lay down definite rules • Civil servants may not approach any covering the acceptance of hospitality in business with which they have contact through their official duties seeking all circumstances. The overriding concern 17 is that all actions of civil servants in sponsorship or support for any club, carrying out their official duties be above charitable organisation, association, suspicion and not give rise to any actual trade union or other organisation. or potential conflict of interest, and that Heads of Departments/Offices should their dealings with commercial and other apply discretion in the application of interests should bear the closest possible this rule to instances of very small scrutiny. It is accepted that civil servants patronage. should not be put in a position where they cannot accept what are regarded as • Civil servants should not accept special normal courtesies in business facilities or discounts on private relationships. However, in their contacts purchases from suppliers with whom with outside organisations or persons, they have official dealings. every care must be taken by civil servants to ensure that their acceptance of hospitality does not influence them, and 16.3 It should be noted that, under the could not reasonably be seen to influence Prevention of Corruption Acts 1889 to them, in discharging their official 2001 as amended by the Ethics in Public functions. Office Act 1995, the corrupt giving of gifts
civil service codes.09.08.qxd 05/09/2008 09:23 Page 21 17.2 The following general guidelines provide direction. Heads of Departments/ a framework within which decisions in Offices are recommended to issue this area can be made or local rules guidelines to their own staff having formulated. Departments/Offices may regard to the offers of hospitality apply these rules on hospitality or make which are commonly made to staff in local rules derived from them. their Departments/Offices. • All offers of hospitality from • Civil servants should not accept offers commercial interests which have or of hospitality which go beyond the might have contractual relations with routine practices referred to above, the Department/Office of the civil except where acceptance of such an servant to whom the offer is made offer can be clearly shown to be in the must be reported by that civil servant interest of the Department/Office and to his or her manager for direction. has been approved by the manager of the civil servant. 18 • No objection would normally be made to the acceptance of what is regarded as routine hospitality, for example, a 18. Payment for work on behalf of business lunch. What may be regarded outside bodies as “routine” for this purpose will 18.1 On occasion civil servants are asked to depend on a number of factors such as carry out tasks for which they receive the value of the hospitality offered, the payment or other benefit in kind on frequency of offers, whether there is behalf of bodies other than their an element of reciprocity and the Departments/Offices, as a consequence of general circumstances in which it is their official positions. While, in many offered (for example, whether it is instances, this practice does not give rise offered by a company to all its to problems, there are certain customers or is directed at specific or circumstances where difficulties may potential customers). Certain types of arise, such as where the task performed hospitality (for example involving forms part of the official duties of a civil travelling abroad or holiday weekends) servant or is performed during normal should not be regarded as routine and working hours. should always be referred to the superior of the civil servant for Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour
civil service codes.09.08.qxd 05/09/2008 09:23 Page 22 Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour 18.2 All Departments/Offices should ensure while work related, is not an integral that they have appropriate standards part of his or her official duties and is which have been clearly set out and carried on outside of normal working made known to all staff. The standards hours. should ensure that there is a consistent, appropriate and clear standard applied • The question of whether or not a task across a Department/Office in relation to is an integral part of a civil servant’s the acceptance of payment or other official duties may normally be benefit in kind for work carried out on determined by reference to the behalf of other organisations. The relevant work programmes. In case of following guidelines provide a framework doubt the civil servant should request within which decisions in this area can be his or her manager to determine if the made or local rules formulated. task is an integral part of official duties. • Where, because of his or her official position, a civil servant is invited to 19 • In cases where no payment or other carry out work on behalf of an outside compensation arises a small token gift body, he or she shall notify his or her may be accepted by a civil servant by Personnel Officer in advance and may way of recognition. not seek or retain payment (other than appropriate travel and subsistence expenses) or other benefit in kind • Where a civil servant has any doubts where the proposed activity is part of concerning the propriety of accepting the civil servant’s duties. Where a any payment or compensation from payment is made, it should be bodies outside of the Department/ surrendered to the Personnel Officer, Office, the matter should be referred to who will lodge it to the Department/ a manager for determination in Office’s account. Any benefit in kind accordance with the guidelines should be returned to the body in outlined above. If a civil servant is question. unhappy with the decision of a senior officer, he or she may appeal the matter to the Personnel Officer or the • A civil servant may accept a modest Secretary General or Head of Office as payment or benefit in kind if the task, appropriate.
civil service codes.09.08.qxd 05/09/2008 09:23 Page 23 19. Contracts with, purchases from (b) prior sanction has been obtained from or sales to Government the Department/Office in which the Departments/Offices transaction arises, following 19.1 A civil servant should not seek contracts consultation with the Department/ with Government Departments or Offices Office in which the civil servant is for the supply of goods or services (other serving. than for employment) either for his or her own benefit, or for any partnership or 19.4 A civil servant who enters into any company with which he or she has an undertaking, or who holds any outside involvement in his or her private capacity interest or participates in any outside or on behalf of other persons or business affecting, or likely to affect, a organisations. State contract or the purchase or sale of State property must immediately disclose 19.2 No Department/Office should knowingly the nature and extent of his or her undertake to contract for the supply of interest to the Secretary General or Head 20 goods or services (other than for of Office. A civil servant should not employment) with a civil servant or with accept a directorship (except as a any partnership or company with which a nominee of a Minister) in any company civil servant has an involvement in his or holding a Government contract or in a her private capacity. company which may reasonably be expected to hold such a contract in future. 19.3 No purchase should be made from, and no sale made to, a civil servant, or any 19.5 Civil servants shall not negotiate or partnership or company with which a civil arbitrate in any matter affecting a servant has an involvement in his or her Government contract or the purchase private capacity in respect of goods or from or sale of goods to the State where, services unless: in their private capacities, they are interested either as principals or as shareholders in a company being one of (a) the transaction is such as occurs in the principals in the matter under the ordinary course of business (e.g. consideration. the purchase of Government Supplies Agency publications or of Savings Certificates) or Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour
civil service codes.09.08.qxd 05/09/2008 09:23 Page 24 Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour 20. Acceptance of outside Ethics Acts shall not, within twelve appointments and of months of resigning or retiring from the consultancy engagement service: following resignation or • accept an offer of appointment from retirement an employer outside the Civil Service 20.1 The following provisions are designed to or foster a culture in which civil servants are • accept an engagement in a particular fully aware of the potential for conflict of consultancy project, interest in accepting positions outside the where the nature and terms of such Civil Service. It is important to declare to appointment or engagement could lead the appropriate authority (see paragraph to a conflict of interest, without first 20.4) such potential conflicts of interest in obtaining approval from the appropriate order to avoid any suspicion that the authority as outlined at 20.4. Even where advice and decisions of a serving officer the twelve months moratorium has might be influenced by the expectation of elapsed, or where for other reasons future employment with a particular firm approval is not required before taking up 21 or organisation. However, it is not the outside employment, officers must intention to place an unnecessary burden continue to observe the restrictions on civil servants in this regard and it is imposed by the Official Secrets Act 1963 expected that these provisions will not as amended by the Freedom of affect the generality of former civil Information Acts 1997 and 2003. These servants joining outside employment. rules also apply to other persons designated under the Ethics Acts (for 20.2 Any civil servant intending to be engaged example, special advisors who are in or connected with (i) any outside appointed personally by Ministers) and to business with which he or she had official officers in grades below the pay level of dealings or (ii) any outside business that Principal who, although not serving in a might gain an unfair advantage over its designated post at the time of their competitors by employing him or her, retirement/resignation, have served in must inform the appropriate authority of such a post at any stage during the six such an intention. Additionally, civil months prior to their retirement/ servants who hold positions which are resignation. In such cases, the twelve “designated positions” for purposes of the month period in which these rules apply
civil service codes.09.08.qxd 05/09/2008 09:23 Page 25 will be reckoned from the officer’s last 20.6 Where a Secretary General or Head of day in the designated post. Office attaches conditions to taking up an appointment, the civil servant concerned may refer the decision to the Outside 20.3 In general, Departments and Offices Appointments Board for review. should monitor the acceptance of outside appointments by civil servants and former civil servants. 20.7 The Secretary General or Head of Office and the Minister for Finance reserve the right to take appropriate action in the 20.4 Civil servants who (i) intend to be event that the provisions of this section engaged in or connected with any outside are not complied with. business in the manner described at paragraph 20.2 or (ii) who hold “designated positions” (under the Ethics Acts) must make their applications as 21. Outside Appointments Board 22 follows: 21.1 This Board, established by the Minister for • Officers below Assistant Secretary level Finance, will consist of the Secretary must apply to the Secretary General or General, Public Service Management and Head of Office in which they are Development, in the Department of serving, or have last served before Finance, the Secretary General to the retirement or resignation; Government, and three other members, who will not be civil servants or former • Officers at and above Assistant civil servants, one of whom will act as Secretary level must apply to the Chairman. The Board will, from time to Outside Appointments Board. time, outline the detailed basis on which applications will be assessed and how the 20.5 Applications will be considered by the decisions of the Board may be appealed. appropriate authority on the basis of determining whether or not a clear 21.2 The Chairman of the Board shall report conflict of interest exists. Approval to annually to Government, through the take up an appointment or accept an Minister for Finance, on the performance engagement may either be unconditional of the Board, and may from time to time, or conditions may be attached. as he or she thinks fit, submit other reports on the Board’s functions. Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour
civil service codes.09.08.qxd 05/09/2008 09:23 Page 26 Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour Appendix Summary of the main features of the Probation Act when tried for a the Code criminal offence, must report that fact to their Personnel Officer. [Section 9] • Civil servants must be impartial in the performance of their duties. [Section 4] • Civil servants are required to attend at work as required and comply with the terms of sick leave regulations. [Section • Civil servants are not permitted to stand 10] for general or European elections. However, civil servants in the craft and state industrial related grades are free to • Civil servants are required to have due engage in political activity and stand for regard for State resources to ensure local elections. [Section 5] proper, effective and efficient use of public money. [Section 11] • Civil servants must respect the constraints of the law. [Section 6] • Civil servants should show due respect to 23 their colleagues including their beliefs and values. [Section 12] • Under the Freedom of Information Acts 1997 to 2003, members of the public have a legal right to information held by • The use of their official positions by civil Government Departments and other servants to benefit themselves or others public bodies. However, the requirement with whom they have personal or under the Official Secrets Act 1963 that business ties is not allowed. Civil civil servants avoid improper disclosure of servants are also forbidden to seek to information gained in the course of their influence decisions on matters pertaining work still applies. [Section 7] to their official positions other than through established procedures. [Section 13] • Civil servants must maintain high standards of service in all of their • Civil servants may not engage in outside dealings with the public. [Section 8] business or activity which would in any way conflict with the interests of their • Civil servants who are convicted of Departments/Offices. [Section 14] criminal offences, or given the benefit of
civil service codes.09.08.qxd 05/09/2008 09:23 Page 27 • Civil servants who occupy “designated for their own benefit or for the benefit of positions” for the purposes of the Ethics any company with which they may have Acts have certain statutory obligations in an involvement in a private capacity. relation to disclosure of interests. These [Section 19] obligations are additional to any obligations imposed by the Code. • Civil servants shall not within twelve [Section 15] months of resigning or retiring from the Civil Service, accept an appointment, or • Civil servants should not receive benefits particular consultancy project, where the of any kind from a third party which nature and terms of such appointment might reasonably be seen to compromise could lead to a conflict of interest or the their personal judgement or integrity. perception of such, without first obtaining Departments are required to apply the the approval of the Outside Appointments rules contained in the Code on the receipt Board or the Secretary General or Head of of gifts or to make local rules deriving Office as appropriate. Additionally, civil 24 from them. [Section 16] servants who hold positions which are “designated positions” for the purposes of the Ethics Acts must, within twelve • The same principle applies to any months of resigning or retiring, obtain the acceptance of hospitality. Within the approval of the Outside Appointments general framework of guidelines set out Board or the Secretary General or Head of in the Code, every care must be taken to Office as appropriate before taking up any ensure that (a) any acceptance of outside appointment. hospitality does not influence, or be seen [Sections 20 and 21] to influence, the discharging of official functions [Section 17] and (b) that there are clear and appropriate standards in place which have been notified to all staff in relation to payment for work on behalf of outside bodies. [Section 18] • Civil servants must not seek contracts with Government Departments or Offices for supply of goods or services whether Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour
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civil service codes.09.08.qxd 05/09/2008 09:23 Page 1 Standards in Public Office Commission 18 Lower Leeson Street Dublin 2 Tel: +353 1 639 5666 Fax: +353 1 639 5684 email: email@example.com web: www.sipo.gov.ie
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